Red Oak Wood Unit Blocks – the best Construction Toy

Unit blocks were developed early in the last century by nursery school teacher Caroline Pratt. She refused to patent her wooden block design, freely sharing it with children the world over. Slightly smaller than her originals, my unit block is 1 and 1/16 inch thick by 2 and 1/8 inches wide by 4 and 1/4 inches long. I believe this size fits smaller hands and the scale of homes better than the larger originals.

wood unit blocks


Toy makers have put blocks on the market for many years, decorating them with letters of the alphabet in an attempt to sneak something "useful" into a child's play. But young children usually ignored the letters and piled the blocks into gay towers. Then, some 30 or more years ago, school people began to take children's play seriously, to say that play itself was educational, and a different kind of blocks came on the market. They were just pieces of unpainted wood, the same width and thickness, and with lengths twice or four times as great as the unit block. A few curves, cylinders, and half-thickness blocks were added, but all with lengths that fitted into the measurements of the basic blocks.

The Block Book c. 1984


I know of no other toy that children use for so many years, in so many ways, with so much creativity and imagination.


The 100 blocks in my block wagon are made of Red Oak and finished with walnut oil. I make them in 15 different shapes, a variety to build anything. This Red Oak hardwood will last for generations of building.

Block City


What are you able to build with your blocks?

Castles and palaces, temples and docks.

Rain may keep raining, and others go roam

But I can be happy and building at home.


Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,

There I'll establish a city for me:

A kirk and a mill and a palace beside,

And a harbor as well where my vessels may ride.


Great is the palace with pillar and wall,

A sort of a tower on the top of it all,

And steps coming down in an orderly way

To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay.




This one is sailing and that one is moored:

Hark to the song of the sailors aboard!

And see, on the steps of my palace, the kings

Coming and going with presents and things!


Yet as I saw it, I see it again,

The kirk and the palace, the ships and the men,

And as long as I live and where'er I may be,

I'll always remember my town by the sea.

by Robert Louis Stevenson

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John Michael Linck - Toymaker - 2618 Van Hise Avenue - Madison, Wisconsin 53705

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